Two Former Members Partner

Posted July 29, 2003 at 4:32pm

Ex-Reps. Sonny Callahan (R-Ala.) and Larry Hopkins (R-Ky.) have inked an agreement to work together on certain lobbying issues.

The two former lawmakers hope the alliance will help their separate lobbying firms by marrying their strengths.

Hopkins’ expertise lies in defense, intelligence, security, international affairs and infrastructure issues.

Callahan, meanwhile, is known for his mastery of spending bills. The former Alabama lawmaker served as a Cardinal on the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

Members Not Moving. Although a handful of Members of Congress are thought to be interested in moving to K Street, nobody has landed a lucrative lobbying job — at least so far.

In the past month alone, Rep. Chip Pickering (R-Miss.) has turned down a million-dollar job as the head of the

Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, and the Recording Industry Association of America could not come to agreement with several current and former lawmakers and instead handed its top job to Mitch Bainwol, a former Senate aide.

Most insiders believe other major trade associations — such as the Association of Automobile Manufacturers, National Cable and Telecommunications Association and the National Association of Broadcasters — stand little chance of wooing a lawmaker from Capitol Hill to K Street.

That’s not how it was supposed to be just a few months ago, when most lobbyists thought a number of current and former lawmakers were in line for some of the best-paid jobs on K Street.

Former Michigan Gov. John Engler (R) was planning to take the wheel for the automakers, and GOP Reps. Billy Tauzin (La.), Mary Bono (Calif.) and Jennifer Dunn (Wash.) were all said to be angling for the music industry post, while former Rep. Susan Molinari (R-N.Y.) was thought to be the frontrunner for the RIAA job.

To be sure, a number of current and former Members remain under consideration for some of the trade association slots. What’s more, the competition for perhaps Washington’s most attractive lobbying job — the president of the Motion Picture Association of America — has yet to officially begin.

Though Hollywood’s top lobbyist Jack Valenti has yet to step down, a number of current and former Members are said to be interested in the job, including actor and ex-Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.), Tauzin and Sen. John Breaux (D-La.) — who has not made up his mind about potential retirement.

Put it on the Record. As reported in Roll Call on Monday, the RIAA tapped Bainwol to take the pricey job as the industry’s top Washington lobbyist.

Bainwol, a former top aide to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and the former executive director at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, will take over Sept. 1.

In doing so, Bainwol will ditch his ill- fated Bainwol Group — a lobbying shop he began after the November elections, abandoned when he became the Majority Leader’s chief of staff and restarted when he left Capitol Hill in the spring.

Though the Bainwol Group’s lifespan was short, it quickly compiled a healthy list of clients, including Freddie Mac, the American Insurance Association, Oracle, US Oncology, St. Paul and the American Immune Association — all of whom now need a new lobbyist.

Fire Away. Bill McIntyre, former spokesman for the National Rifle Association, will join Grassroots Enterprise Inc. as vice president of strategic communications and public affairs.

Grassroots, founded in 1999 and chaired by former Clinton Press Secretary Mike McCurry, is a public affairs firm with a focus on integrated communications strategy.

Foley & Lardner Snags Heavy Hitter. John Stirrup, chief of staff to then-Rep. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), has been brought on by Foley & Lardner to work in its public affairs practice.

Stirrup comes to the firm from Griffin, Johnson, Dover & Stewart where he was a consultant.

Stirrup held positions in the Housing and Urban Development, Labor and Commerce departments during the Reagan administration.